Consequences of playing "EVIL" races

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
IIRC someone brought up the fact that Warhammer's orcs aren't very humanlike or elf like either. In warhammer the Orcs are more similar in terms of lifecycle and biochemistry to some kind of algae or fungus than they are to the setting's other beings
WAAAAGH!

I always loved the 40k version of Orks. A galactic sentient fungal infestation that, if it weren't for it's lack of general intelligence (orks are pretty dumb) would be the single most powerful thing in the galaxy. Why? Because, what the Ork collective believes because true. They, collectively, think red is a fast color, so vehicles painted red actually go faster than those painted other colors. They, collectively, think that having more things sticking off of your guns makes them shoot more, and, lo and behold, this is true. They, collectively, think that if you put trash and scrap together in the shape of a vehicle or warmachine, it'll work and be a vehicle or warmachine, and it is so. They can't ever seem to agree on much else, though, so, thankfully, the galaxy is spared from the unbridled imagination of Orks. They still have to deal with recurrent fungal blooms that result in the scrap from the last war being spontaneously turned into a new war machine with freshly sprouted Orks, though, and that's still pretty bad.
 

uzirath

Adventurer
So, I tend to run primary colors versions of morality in my games.
I definitely run some primary colors games too. A lot of my players, however, prefer some good politics and intrigue in the mix which works well in a world with some secondary colors (and at least 256 shades of gray).
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I definitely run some primary colors games too. A lot of my players, however, prefer some good politics and intrigue in the mix which works well in a world with some secondary colors (and at least 256 shades of gray).
I've found that grey just washes out. Even if I use primary colors, and am clear as all heck, players will create their own shades of grey contrary to all evidence. I don't have to muddy things up by adding my own -- I stick to the strong shades and enjoy the chaos caused by players. At the end of the day, I get to point out that it was always perfectly clear that guy that betrayed you was a bad guy. I mean, right now, in my current game, I have an escaped thrall of mindflayers working with a mind flayer, and somewhat convinced that this mind flayer is on the side of good rather than just on it's own side, which is clearly evil just differently evil that the other mind flayers. Players are apt to ignore some pretty clearly stated things, including accepting the player's statement at the beginning of the game that mind flayers are all bad. And, so they are. Some, though, are bad in ways that align with your current goals, and trusting them past that is really your fault, not mine. While I may usually only paint in primary colors, players are always free to use whatever palette they want.

In other words, there's lots of leeway for fun and politics and intrigue even when you're dealing with devils portrayed as incapable of being anything other than Lawful Evil through and through when you have players willing to lie to themselves that this time, that Succubus really is just a misunderstood soul trapped by circumstance rather than a pitiless, heartless, absolutely cunning manipulator. I may paint in absolute morality colors, but I'm still a rat bastard.
 

Helldritch

Adventurer
In other words, there's lots of leeway for fun and politics and intrigue even when you're dealing with devils portrayed as incapable of being anything other than Lawful Evil through and through when you have players willing to lie to themselves that this time, that Succubus really is just a misunderstood soul trapped by circumstance rather than a pitiless, heartless, absolutely cunning manipulator. I may paint in absolute morality colors, but I'm still a rat bastard.
With the bold part you made my night. Self delusion can be very strong in some people. Thank you for that sentence. It really made my night.
 

Bohandas

Explorer
It's Saturday morning cartoons where GI Joe doesn't have to every worry about Cobra Commander being a bad guy because he's just a bad guy. And most games exist at this level of morality -- orcs are just this week's bad guys that the heroes get to fight and prevail, not a complex moral commentary on the plight of [real world stuff].
Which brings up another point. I think that a big part of this might come from a lot of gaming groups being too squeamish to actually show the bad guys doing anything seriously evil, much like GI Joe and similar cartoons. So you're left with something that looks more like scaremongering than actual villany going on; just a bunch of third-hand rumors about some vague undefined evil.
 

Zhaleskra

Adventurer
I don't like the villains in Redwall because they're evil because they're evil. OK, usually, they're "vermin", but so are many of the "hero" species. It doesn't have to be a complex motivation, but I need villains to have A motivation.

Why is a Drow becoming a Drider considered a punishment? To me it seems like a huge buff. Why are Drow evil? Because they were elves who worshiped Lolth and were cursed. In a society where murder is commonplace, it would also be commonplace to find people looking to leave that society. Sure, statistically most of them are killed or turned into driders, but still.

If Cobra just rented out the Weather Dominator, they win. Everybody would love Cobra. I mean how much money does Cobra Commander make as a terrorist?
 

Helldritch

Adventurer
I don't like the villains in Redwall because they're evil because they're evil. OK, usually, they're "vermin", but so are many of the "hero" species. It doesn't have to be a complex motivation, but I need villains to have A motivation.
Why does a psychopath kills? Simply because he can. In his mind, his only crime was getting caught. You can apply the same logic to evil races.

Why is a Drow becoming a Drider considered a punishment? To me it seems like a huge buff. Why are Drow evil? Because they were elves who worshiped Lolth and were cursed. In a society where murder is commonplace, it would also be commonplace to find people looking to leave that society. Sure, statistically most of them are killed or turned into driders, but still.
A drider is in a constant state of rage and pain. It might be a buff in combat terms but even me would not like to be like them. Their curse also prevent them from killing drows (I should say faithful drows), the object of their rage and pain.

Drows are evil because they chose Lolth as a goddess. They consider her the epitome of what they are. In our modern world we consider the almighty to be caring and forgiving so we strive to be like him ; so too, are the drows. In the fanstastic world they're in, the gods are not just spectators. They can act! Not only they can but they do. In the novels, Dritzz had to reject Lolth with his whole heart and soul or he would have ended being a drider and not the hero we know. Drow do not leave their society because the price of it is becoming a drider. Even Jarlaxle praises Lolth. He is not satisfied with her, but he still follows her precepts. Thus he is not a drider. You don't have to like a god to give it power. You only have to acknowledge it either with fear or respect. A thing that Dritzz does not even do.

If Cobra just rented out the Weather Dominator, they win. Everybody would love Cobra. I mean how much money does Cobra Commander make as a terrorist?
Cobra makes a lot of money with extortions, thefts, murder contracts and many other criminal activities. The cartoon only shows us the big losses that Cobra suffers at the hand of GI-Joe. Just like the news shows us the big catch the police does against drug and street gangs. We see their big losses but not their victories. So no, nobody loves Cobra but Cobra.[/QUOTE]
 

Celebrim

Legend
I don't like the villains in Redwall because they're evil because they're evil. OK, usually, they're "vermin", but so are many of the "hero" species. It doesn't have to be a complex motivation, but I need villains to have A motivation.
Power isn't a compelling motivation? Some people want to rule and dominate over others. Prior to our democratic systems of government and other checks and balances, this was a massive problem. What motivated the Norse to become the scourge of Europe? Were they just notable bad people? Or was murder, rape, and theft just a very attractive economic activity to engage in for young males without other prospects?

Why is a Drow...
Got no answer to that. Absolutely nothing about Drow culture makes sense, even taking into account the capricious nature of the deity that conducts it. I don't think that it was designed with a lot of forethought. Just "bad guys" loosely inspired by spiders and the fact that spider females are larger and more dangerous than the males.

If Cobra just rented out the Weather Dominator, they win. Everybody would love Cobra. I mean how much money does Cobra Commander make as a terrorist?
This could really just be turned into any "evil mastermind" discussion, as evil masterminds often behave in entirely stupid ways purely to jump through plot hoops, two of which are always going to have to be "the situation the heroes are in seems dire" and "the heroes win in the end". Any time you have a story structure that is known and you have a writer under a deadline that needs to paint by numbers the story structure, you are going to get a lot of fridge logic like you just described. "Cobra" itself is a solution to the same story constraint that needs to jump through both hoops without offending any real world political group - Cobra has to put the heroes in situations that seem dire, but also lose in every episode. Occasionally the writers subverted the tropes, including an episode where Cobra had to change tactics because it was bankrupt.
 

Sepulchrave II

Adventurer
What motivated the Norse to become the scourge of Europe?
Population pressure. Demand for more resources. Same as other wars of expansion.

Celebrim said:
Absolutely nothing about Drow culture makes sense, even taking into account the capricious nature of the deity that conducts it.
And with the drow we have a quite explicit curse by Corellon which gives them their black skin.

Now, before you freak out and start flinging accusations of racism around again, I'm saying that the mytheme - a people cursed or afflicted in the (distant, mythic) past to be different or set apart - is the same. Same with the Curse of Ham (or Canaan) - specifically, how it was later mythologized by Muslim and Christian slavers.

When I say that the "precise aetiology of orcs is unimportant" what I mean is that it doesn't matter if they're cursed by Malacath, imbued with hatred by Gruumsh, corrupted by Melkor, or whatever. Same with the drow. It is the notion that some divine action has rendered a people cursed.

Also - I'm not an American and I'm a keen student of the Old Testament, so I don't automatically construe all biblical texts which have been used to justify racial oppression in terms of 19th century US social history.
 

Hand of Evil

Adventurer
Okay, let me get my soapbox. What is evil? I say the DM should define it. This creates cultural and regional taboos and morals for the characters to follow that makes them evil to others and builds a defense in evil vs. LAWs. These are things like following gods that are listed as evil and performing evil acts. So, a drow viewed as evil by everyone would be okay when viewed by other drow or evil characters (unless that evil character did not approve of that evil act).
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Why is a Drow becoming a Drider considered a punishment? To me it seems like a huge buff.
I mean, sure, combat power. That's really nice... in the middle of combat. But most of life isn't in combat.

And as a drider you no longer fit into society. Literally. Like, that back end doesn't physically fit within the architecture and interior design. And Drow are ableist jerks, and they are in no way going to make reasonable accommodations for you. And the ladies... they are not going to be swiping right for you any more. Because, you know... you have a really bad case of spider-butt. Which I guess is fine, because driders are biologically sexless and can't breed anyway.

Oh, and this is all because you failed. Big time. You didn't cut the mustard, so they made you this thing that can't even shop for groceries, much less have a normal life.

Yeah. That's a buff, for sure.
 
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lowkey13

Guest
Does this spider butt make me look fat. Be honest. :);)
Oh, my, God Drizzt, look at that drider's butt
It is so big, the drider looks like
One of Lolths' girlfriends.
But, ya know, who understands the Spider Queen's demands?
They only pray to Lolth, because,
She looks like a total prostitute, 'kay?

I mean, that drider's butt, is just so big
I can't believe it's just so round, it's like out there
I mean gross, look
That drider is just so, black

I like drider butts and I can not lie
You other drow can't deny....
Drider got back
 

Bohandas

Explorer
I mean, sure, combat power. That's really nice... in the middle of combat. But most of life isn't in combat.
In Drow society? Isn't their whole schtick (other than the spiders and the BDSM ladies) that murder and attempted murder are implausibly common?
 
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Helldritch

Adventurer
In Drow society? Isn't their whole schtick (other than the spiders and the BDSM ladies) that murder and attempted murder are implausibly common?
Drows are much more than that. Being chaotic and evil to the core, they need a strict code of conduct to prevent the collapse of their society. The penalty for being caught doing "bad" things is usually death.

On the other hand, drows are encourage to break rules, kill, murder and many other attrocious acts. The only rule is DO NOT GET CAUGHT! You're not caught and there are no witnesses? You won the day (or the night for that matter...). A drider would not last long in the drow "society".
 

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
Drows are much more than that. Being chaotic and evil to the core, they need a strict code of conduct to prevent the collapse of their society. The penalty for being caught doing "bad" things is usually death.

On the other hand, drows are encourage to break rules, kill, murder and many other attrocious acts. The only rule is DO NOT GET CAUGHT! You're not caught and there are no witnesses? You won the day (or the night for that matter...). A drider would not last long in the drow "society".
ummmm pretty sure drow are neutral evil, at least since 3rd edition.
 

Helldritch

Adventurer
ummmm pretty sure drow are neutral evil, at least since 3rd edition.
Yep, you're right on that account. But I was refering to the society described by RA Salvatore in the novels and in the 1ed and 2ed Drows. Neutral evil drows are an aberration as almost all their deities are CE (save the godess Eilistraee). As I said earlier, a race will strive to be like its god(s). Alignment in 3.xed and higher does not have the same connotation as in the previous editions.

I believe that the NE aspect given to drow was to give them a small acceptability as a NE race is less likely to be killed on sight. But Drows are and always will be CE in my heart.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I believe that the NE aspect given to drow was to give them a small acceptability as a NE race is less likely to be killed on sight.
I dunno. I think it is a bit more a nod to the fact that they are this weird admixture of authoritarian regime and berzerk violent individual ladder-climbing, that balances out to neutrality.

Plus, there's a hefty argument that a CE race probably has too many stability issues to build anything as a culture that lasts for any significant period of time. The Neutral placement makes that a lot more plausible.
 

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